It happened one night
On Thursday morning, Sandeep Patil - whose three-year tenure as director of the National Cricket Academy was to end this month - called a friend in Mumbai from Bangalore and told him about his new profile, that of a senior national selector.
As news spread at BCCI's AGM, it was clear that the fears of the media that the tide could change overnight and bring about changes in the composition had come true. Almost everyone had predicted Roger Binny would succeed K Srikkanth as chairman of the national selection panel. The former all-rounder was inducted in the panel, but his 1983 World Cup team mate pipped him to the post.
So what sealed the deal in favour of Patil, who emerged from West Zone ahead of Abey Kuruvilla and Karsan Ghavri?
"The element of surprise," a board member who attended the AGM said. "The president (N Srinivasan) had kept the cards close to his chest. At the outset, it was clarified to all units that zonal candidates will not necessarily be accepted since it was the Board's prerogative to appoint selectors."
Thus, most of the two-hour long discussion focused on the senior and junior selection committees. "There were times, like when Saba Karim was preferred over four other candidates and Patil was appointed chairman, when the president used his powers to end the discussion."
As mysterious as the appointment of three of the five selectors was the exclusion of Mohinder Amarnath after serving just one year. All Srinivasan did was to beat around the bush when asked about Amarnath.
"The term of a selector is maximum of four years, to be elected annually. That is as per the BCCI and one cannot go into the reasons. That is not a subject for public debate," he said.
Sourav Ganguly was replaced as Technical Committee chairman by his former teammate Anil Kumble. The panel is crucial as it decides the structure of domestic cricket. Ganguly and his colleagues had recently introduced many changes in the domestic structure.
However, Ganguly was replaced because he is still an active player, a BCCI insider said. "You cannot have someone who is still active in domestic cricket heading the committee."
(With inputs from Firoz Mirza)